The Hatley Heart Attack is a loop of 534 caches (plus a few extra associated puzzles) starting in Hatley, south Cambridgeshire.
Here’s a link to the Bookmark if you need it.
In an area already rich in power trails, the Hatley Heart attack (HHA) has made Cambridgeshire the place to be if you want geocaching numbers.
In fact now a popular place to stay for cachers who want to tackle the trail whilst staying locally for a mini break.
Well I don’t care so much about the numbers.
Whilst I completely understand the fun of it for those that do, I’ll take quality over quantity every single time.
I do however happen to live just a short drive away.
Local enough that it was inevitable that I’d be drawn in by the lure of all those caches.
Local enough that we can pop across for the day to tackle the trail in manageable chunks.
Ever one to break the norm I’ve attacked the trail with a scattergun approach. Over the past year knocking out smaller chunks in no particular order. In fact not until our most recent visit – where we have finally neared completion, did we actually approach the ever elusive Hatley and cache number one.
If stats are your thing you can get some great results on the trail. Before I started the HHA my most found caches in a day stood at 20 something.
A post Christmas stroll took me rocketing up to 80.
Then we had the daft idea to tackle the largest loop in one go; a 12 hour day, 28 miles covered, 153 caches found and a pub stop thrown in for good measure. Phew!
The trail itself is mostly rural, the odd stint through quaint Cambridgeshire villages but on the whole taking in the arable landscape of this farming area.
Not of course known for hills in the area; the going is mostly flat and easy, though of course mud can be a bit of a challenge at times.
As you would expect from a power trail the caches are on the whole, regularly spaced at the minimum 161m, the perfect distance to just get chatting and sail on past accidentally.
And yes a lot of the caches are
piss pots specimen tubes tied in trees, along with that other classic; film pots, placed at the base of posts. However if you like your numbers – happy days, all those quick and easy finds that your heart desires.
Hear me out though, I’m not complaining. There are also plenty of different hides to suit all tastes
The trail itself makes good use of interesting locations where it can and happily sits alongside established caches, several of which are well worth adding to the loop.
A favourite of mine was the cache at Orwell Clunch pit. So easy to be made a quick cache and dash but a site well worthy of an explore.
Even if the word Clunch does make me cringe.*shudder*
An amusing slide down for the cache and a quite frankly hilarious scramble back up.
Clunch. Honestly. Just wrong. 🙉
Here are some other nearby treasures we found, no spoilers though, go find them yourself. 😊
Then there’s Biggleswade.
I can’t really judge the town as the route just takes in the very edge of the suburbs, but honestly it felt like I had wandered into a post apocalypse situation. Litter strewn, semi urban, abandoned construction and lots of tree protector hides – I now utterly despise tree protector hides. Followed by the monotony of some quite uninspiring caching.
It’s fair to say this was the section that really didn’t float my boat. In fact we now have a new saying, if things are going a bit grim – that’ll be the Biggleswade effect.
The majority of the caches are of course easy to find traditionals, add a smidgen of Multis, a handful of letterboxes – pun totally intended….
also great if you are childish enough to stamp on your friends face. As if I would…. 😉
Not forgetting a generous sprinkling of puzzles. On the whole easy enough that my friend can solve them 😉 but a few can be a bit trickier so best tackled before your trip.
The one thing that really stands out for me on the HHA though is the ditch jumps.
That pesky CO.
Most are quite tame but for some you really do need to unleash your inner Gazelle. It’s good fun though. 🙂
As for my progress, I’ve got a relatively small section to do to finish the trail. Hopefully it will yield a few bonus numbers or frankly I’m ballsed for the final.
Then the tiny matter of a DNF or two to tidy up. Not many, but with such easy hides it’s inevitable some will go missing. Whilst I appreciate replacements are the norm on a larger trail, it’s not for me.
So finally here’s a few gems from the trail itself. Most definitely not taken in Biggleswade…I’ll get my coat…